Killaloe -- Shenanigans and malarkey were in full flight last Thursday evening in the Lion's Hall here as The Opeongo Readers' Theatre helped launch Killaloe's annual 'Irish Gathering' with a podcast show about the area's local leprechaun history
Nicole Zummach, head librarian of the Killaloe and District Public Library, hosted the event presented by Jane Corbett, Kristin Marchand and Rob Filipkowski, all members of the Readers' Theatre. An appreciative audience heard authentic newspaper clippings dating back to 1864, as well as apparently authentic news of real leprechaun sightings in and around Killaloe, dating back to the 1840s. Current leprechaun sightings apparently now number dozens each year and rival Douglas, the reputed Ottawa Valley 'Home of Leprechauns.'
One of the more interesting newspaper articles published in the 1950s involved the Polish embassy in Ottawa accusing the Canadian government of hiding what sounded like leprechaun treasure in and around Killaloe. Another clipping had leprechauns bamboozle the federal government into setting up Killaloe's national weather station in the middle of the 20th Century. On the literary side, a diary selection told of how a leprechaun once escaped near capture along Brennan's Creek, as well as two poems about a luckless Killaloe lover-boy whose attempts at winning over two different local ladies seemed possibly doomed by leprechaun interference.
"Certainly, as with many sightings near the old Douglas Tavern, there's a history of more than one leprechaun having been seen hanging around the Beresford!" said the show's producer and writer, Barry Conway.
Admission was free but a hat was passed to benefit the Killaloe & District Public Library. All that malarkey and shenanigans can still be heard on The Opeongo Line podcast which is also free, though donations to the Killaloe library are encouraged.
Barry Conway, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Eganville Leader